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Administrator: A company that authorizes and pays the repair facility to repair your car.

A.M. Best & Co: A.M. Best Company is the leading source for insurance company ratings, analysis and information. It offers comprehensive, quality data on more than 6,000 insurance companies. For more information go to

Authorization: Official approval from the administrator to make repairs.


Cancellation: As the contract holder, you have the right to cancel your policy at any time, and have a pro-rated amount of your payment returned to you.  Cancellation must be done in writing, as it is a change to your initial contract, and we must have proper authorization to make this change.  Contract also may be cancelled within the first 30 days of coverage for a full refund, provided that no claims have been filed.


Deductible: The amount, if any, that you must pay the repair facility for work when the vehicle is being repaired.

Diagnostics: The analysis conducted by the repair facility to determine the necessary repairs needed for your car to be operable.


Eligibility: The mileage and age criteria a vehicle must meet in order to qualify for coverage.

Extended Warranty: This is the common, though technically incorrect, term for a policy that protects the automobile owner against mechanical failures and breakdowns after the manufacturer's warranty has expired.  This term is incorrect because the technical definition for a "warranty" is coverage that is included in the price of an item (such as the manufacturer's warranty on a car) and cannot be separated from the item.  An extended warranty is also (and more properly) known as a Vehicle Service Contract, Vehicle Repair Coverage, Mechanical Repair Coverage, Vehicle Service Agreement, Extended Service Agreement, or Extended Protection Plan, among other names.


In-Service Date: The date the vehicle was purchased by the original owner and driven, or the date the vehicle was placed in use for rental, demonstration or other purposes.

Inspection: The examination or review of your vehicle's components by a certified mechanic. A vehicle will pass a pre-warranty inspection only after the mechanic attests to the proper working condition of all components of your vehicle.

Insurance Company/Insurer: The insurance company that issues an insurance policy and guarantees the obligations of the administrator.  Most reputable auto warranty companies contract with another company to insure their obligations for a service contract. In this way, the customer is protected if the warranty company were to run into financial difficulties, as the insurer would step in to pay the claims.


Make/Manufacturer: The Make of your vehicle is the same company that manufactured your vehicle. For example, the make of a Honda Pilot is “Honda”.

Manufacturer's Recommended Maintenance Guidelines: This is the routine maintenance that is recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle to keep the vehicle in satisfactory working order, and can be found in the owner's manual for your vehicle.  Typical guidelines to be followed include: changing the engine oil, checking proper fluid levels, tire rotations, wheel alignments. Not following the recommended maintenance guidelines will void your service contract. Thus, it’s important to keep all records of such repairs.

Manufacturer's Warranty: This is the promise of your vehicle's manufacturer to repair your vehicle for a specified period of time and/or mileage. All factory-installed parts are covered against defects and workmanship. Typical manufacturer warranties are 3 years or 36,000 miles or 4 years or 50,000 miles. Check your manufacturer's warranty manual for warranty information.

Model: The model is the name given to the type of vehicle that was made by the manufacturer. For example, with a Toyota 4Runner, the “4Runner” is the model.


Nationally Recognized Labor Guides: These guides provide mechanics and EasyCare with a simple and fair way of determining the correct labor hours for a repair.  Each repair for each vehicle has a pre-determined labor time listed in the manual, so it is easy to determine exactly what a shop should be paid in labor to complete needed repairs.  For the convenience of our contract holders and dealer customers, EasyCare uses AllData, Mitchell, Chilton, and Motors guides.

New Vehicle: When discussing extended warranties, the term new vehicle means an automobile that is still covered by the original manufacturer's comprehensive warranty, not just the manufacturer powertrain warranty.


Odometer Miles: The actual total miles the Vehicle has traveled as viewed on the odometer. This is the mileage stated on the odometer. Failure of the odometer or removal will void the service contract, unless the change of the new working odometer has been documented to the warranty company.


Plan Term: The amount of time in years or mileage that your extended warranty coverage will protect your vehicle.

Plan Expiration: This is the date or odometer mileage at which your coverage will no longer be in effect.  For example, a 5 year/100,000 mile service contract will expire 5 years or when the odometer reads 100,000 miles.

Powertrain Coverage: A limited warranty from the Warranty Company that covers certain parts of your vehicles engine, transmission and drive train assembly.

Pre-Existing Condition:  A pre-existing condition is a cause of failure that is determined to have existed prior to your warranty purchase.  This may include parts that have already failed, or significant lack of maintenance that clearly contributes to a failure.  The pre-inspection process is designed to identify pre-existing conditions that would impact repair coverage.

Product Warranty:  In the automotive industry, the term "product warranty" refers to a misleading type of coverage that sounds similar to an extended warranty or vehicle service contract, but actually provides much less (or no) protection.  The vendor offers some sort of product - usually an oil or gas additive - that is touted as "including" some form/term of service contract.  Once the product is used, the buyer forfeits all cancellation/return rights and the protection that provides.  EasyCare does not offer these types of warranties, and is working with consumer advocates to protect consumers from them.


Ratings: A.M. Best's rating for insurers and re-insurers are considered the gold standard. They determine an institution's financial strength, and therefore their ability to protect your coverage investment.

Repair Facility: An authorized licensed repair facility located in the United States or Canada. This includes, but is not limited to, your dealership, local mechanical facility or national repair facilities.

Rental Car Benefit: The amount you will be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred for substitute transportation while your vehicle is being repaired.

Roadside Assistance: A program that provides you with a toll-free telephone number to call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This is for assistance when your vehicle breaks down or when there is a vehicle emergency (towing, battery assistance, and flat tire assistance, emergency lock out, or fuel, oil, fluid and water delivery).


Tear Down: The process of taking apart key components in order to find the problem.

Transferability: A vehicle having an extended warranty can have the warranty transferred to the new owner of the vehicle if the vehicle is sold privately (i.e. not to a dealer).


Used Vehicle: In the context of extended warranties, the term “used vehicle” means an vehicle where the original manufacturer's warranty has expired. This term has nothing to do with ownership of a vehicle.


Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a 17 digit alphanumeric series, which describes the characteristics of your vehicle. Each vehicle has a unique number. It is located in several places. The most common are:

On your insurance card

On your registration card

On the driver-side dashboard of your vehicle

On the title to your vehicle


Wear and Tear: "Wear and tear" that is covered under better service contracts (including EasyCare) include:

When a part or component has failed because it can no longer perform the function for which it was designed solely because of its condition, or

When the part has worn beyond the manufacturer's tolerances allowed for that particular vehicle at the mileage when the problem occurs, assuming it has received manufacturer's recommended maintenance.

It is very important to understand the difference between "wear and tear" items and parts that are considered normal maintenance that can wear out. Normal maintenance items that usually wear out are typically not covered under an extended warranty program. Some examples of parts that wear out that are not covered are brake pads and rotors, brake shoes and drums, and manual clutches.

Warranty Glossary

Warranty Glossary